EmployeeScreenIQ

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

 

Background Checks a Violation of Religious Freedom?

One teacher is planning to sue the State of Texas for requiring her to be fingerprinted for background checks (Click here).

Several reports have claimed that Pam McLaurin, a teacher at Big Sandy Independent School District in Dallardsville, is suing the state because she feels being fingerprinted is a violation of her religious freedom.

The case, which will be heard in Lufkin federal court, is the only religious freedom case to take place in Lufkin and the only fingerprint case to take place in the country.

Attorney Scott Skelton told KTRE that McLaurin thinks getting a fingerprint would result in her "bearing the mark of the beast" and being "tormented in burning sulfur." However, she would be willing to undergo any other type of background check.

"She just doesn't want to be fingerprinted," Skelton said. "That's all she doesn't want to have to do. She doesn't mind her background being checked out. She just doesn't want to submit to that. But TEA (Texas Education Agency) is not allowing an exception and so she is in this predicament."

McLaurin also has complained that the state is forcing her to submit fingerprints, even though the statewide law that would require school teachers to do so isn't supposed to go into effect until 2011. Big Sandy Independent School District officials have said they will comply with the state, but hope McLaurin will continue to be allowed to teach in the district.

"The Constitution issues are very, very interesting, from a stand point of a conflict between a teacher's sincere upheld religious beliefs under the first amendment to the United States Constitution and the state's intent in providing a safe environment for children in the public schools," Wayne Haglund, lawyer for the Big Sandy School District, said.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

 

Background Check Issues for URI Students

A loophole in the state's background check law could be allowing people with criminal records to volunteer in Rhode Island schools. To learn more about background checks, go to http://employeescreen.com.

According to an article by the South County Independent, students planning to volunteer or intern at the University of Rhode Island were told in September they needed to undergo a background check.

However, those students were turned down by university police, who stopped performing state or national background checks. Students were then turned down by the South Kingstown Police Department. Both of those departments referred students to the state Attorney General's Office in Providence.

The problem with the current system is that the Attorney General's Office only performs state background checks on volunteers, leaving room for people with a criminal record outside the state to secure a volunteer or internship position with the school.

Current state law requires only school employees, police and campus police, court system employees, financial agents, household security providers and massage therapists to submit to both state and national background checks.

In essence, the state is only required to perform FBI fingerprint checks for law enforcement and criminal investigation purposes. That finding is what led university police to stop offering national checks, after which time they were told to send anyone looking for state checks to the Attorney General's Office.

As the loophole in state law could potentially lead to bad hires, the Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch has announced that legislation to require federal background checks on classroom volunteers will be discussed during the next session of the General Assembly.

It seems as though the biggest concern to officials will be the cost of background checks, as there is a $22 fee for FBI fingerprint checks. That means the biggest hurdle could be figuring out exactly who will pay that fee.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

 

Top 10 Background Check Elements

If you're a business owner in the process of hiring new employees or scouting out potential business partners, it's important to know that you're making the right decision, and conducting a background check can help you do just that.

Background checks can reveal things about a potential hire or partner that could negatively affect their work ability. These can include such things as whether the person has a criminal record, if they have a drug or alcohol problem, if they've been involved in business failures, if they really graduated from the school they claim or if they've been in charge before.

Many portions of a background check can be completed by providing a background check company with the person's name, social security number and date of birth, as well as education and employment history.

You can gather this information simply by asking the applicant or potential partner. Federal law requires employers to inform job seekers that they plan to conduct a background check on them before the actual check is completed.

The top 10 elements to include in a background check, according to IntegraScan, are:

  1. criminal records - state, federal and sex offender
  2. driving records - DWIs or DUIs
  3. credit report - credit worthiness
  4. bankruptcies
  5. tax liens
  6. judgments and civil litigation
  7. defaults
  8. UCC filings
  9. education and previous employment verification
  10. professional licenses

Completing these checks and finding out any negative information associated with them can save yourself and your business from problems that could be caused by a bad hire or potential business partner.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

 

Background Checks for Journalists?

Journalists who want to accompany U.S. forces involved in Afghanistan military operations could soon have to undergo background checks.

The Pentagon has contracted The Rendon Group, a controversial public relations firm, to determine whether or not journalists' past coverage has portrayed the American military in a positive way.

The reason the firm is controversial is because its work helped create the Iraqi National Congress in 2003, which reportedly supplied much of the information about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction.

According to an article by Stars and Stripes, any journalist hoping to embed with U.S. forces is subject to a background check by Rendon. The company examines reporters' recent work and determines whether the coverage was positive, negative or neutral compared to mission objectives.

"We have not denied access to anyone because of what may or may not come out of their biography," Air Force Capt. Elizabeth Mathias, a public affairs officer with U.S. Forces Afghanistan in Kabul, said. "It's so we know with whom we're working."

Mathias said Rendon reports are generated only after a reporter has been assigned to cover a unit and are done on an ad hoc basis, mainly for lesser-known journalists and those new to covering the war in Afghanistan.

The reports can be useful for familiarizing commanders with topics journalists could address and for facilitating coverage specific to a journalist's interests. Mathias also said the Pentagon has begun shifting away from the positive-negative-neutral scale and is now evaluating news coverage more for its accuracy.

A recent report stated there were 60 media outlets, excluding Afghan media, on the ground with American and NATO forces, a significant increase compared to a few months ago.

However, many professional groups representing journalists are speaking out against the Pentagon's screening of reporters.

"That's the government doing things to put out the message they want to hear and that's not the way journalism is meant to work in this country," Amy Mitchell, deputy director for Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, said.

"The whole concept of doing profiles on reporters who are going to embed with the military is alarming," Ron Martz, president of the Military Reporters and Editors association, said. "It speaks to this whole issue of trying to shape the message and that's not something the military should be involved with."

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

 

Background Checks in Churches

Some people are praying for more background checks in churches after the results of a recent study were released.

One agency recently conducted a slew of background checks by way of LifeWay Christian Resources. The 5,000 background checks for 450 churches found serious felonies in 80 cases and more than 600 people who had some type of criminal history that could disqualify them from working at a church.

Of course, those in favor of more background checks in churches say this study's results show the need for an increased effort in order to keep everyone safe.

In an article by The Birmingham News, Christa Brown, Baptist Outreach Director of the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, said many evangelical churches, including Southern Baptists, still do not keep records of abuse allegations against clergy and church workers, and many don't have objective professional panels to review allegations.

"We're still looking at a small percentage of churches that are even doing minimal bare-bones background checks," she said.

Brown also said the problem could be worse than reported in the study, citing a 2007 Associated Press report that stated three major insurers of Protestant churches had about 260 reports a year for the past 15 years of claims of minors being abused by clergy, staff or other church workers.

That's higher than the average of 228 credible accusations against Catholic priests per year reported in a 2004 study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Today, however, most Catholic and Protestant churches have formal panels and reviews for claims of abuse.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

 

Background Checks to Protect the Elderly

The State of Michigan is doing its part to help the elderly by requiring those who work with them to undergo background checks.

As of April, Michigan has required any newly-hired employee who works with older adults in long-term care to complete criminal background checks, according to an article by Advanceweb.

The measure was implemented in response to a rising problem the state is facing with healthcare abuse. A recent study by Michigan State University found that 40 percent of people in long-term care facilities experience some sort of abuse, including physical, verbal or emotional.

Prior to the new law, Michigan only conducted background checks on employees who worked directly with people in nursing homes, county medical care facilities, homes for the elderly and adult foster care facilities. The new law requires background checks for anyone in the field, adding those in psychiatric hospitals, hospices, home-health programs and long-term care facilities.

The law sets a timetable for which people will have to wait to work in the field in case they've been found guilty of committing a crime. For example, anyone guilty of larceny, retail fraud in the second or third degree would face a one-year penalty. In comparison, anyone who commits Medicaid fraud or drug dealing would face a lifetime ban.

Within the first four weeks after the law was passed, 70 prospective employees were found to have criminal pasts.

Supporters of the new law say background checks are critical in order to keep the elderly safe, but some naysayers believe the new law will diminish the number of people who want to work in the long-term elderly care field.

In January 2005, Michigan received federal approval as one of seven states selected to participate in the federal background check pilot program. Other funded states include Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico and Wisconsin.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

 

Background Check Effort Against Criminals in California

A proposed bill in California would stop people with a criminal past from conducting criminal background checks at certain agencies.

Following signing the state budget, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger now has more than 100 new bills to look at. Among them is Senate Bill 447, which would prohibit those with criminal records from conducting background checks for prospective employees and members at agencies.

Sen. Leland Yee
, of San Francisco, sponsored the bill and said the loophole could lead to an ex-con supervising an organization's background check process without any other agency members knowing.

The bill would require the state Department of Justice to review the criminal past of potential record custodians to confirm whether they are suited for the position.

According to an article by the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, lawmakers expect the bill to reach Schwarzenegger within the next week. Once the bill is sent, he will have 12 days to sign it. The Assembly already signed the bill in July after it was approved by the Senate in May.

"It's a great, great idea," Susan Warren, co-founder and co-director of Project Think, a summer program for those in preschool through eighth grade, said in the article. "I don't think we can be too careful checking the backgrounds of individuals who are going to be working with children, or checking those supervising children, who are our most important resources for the future."

There are currently 36,000 youth organizations in California that require criminal background checks for prospective members. However, the person conducting the background checks also can review his or her own past.

There are 36,000 youth organizations in California that require criminal background checks for prospective members. But the person conducting the background checks can also review his or her own past.

"We can't take that chance because that could ruin a child's life," Warren said.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

 

Background Checks for Nonprofits

A new proposal could make it easier for nonprofit groups to conduct background checks.

Sen. Charles Schumer has created a federal bill that, if passed, would make it easier for nonprofit groups that serve children to check the backgrounds of workers and volunteers. The service would cost as little as $25 and would be free to groups who can prove financial hardship.

The bill would close a legal loophole and allow groups to access FBI records through a new one-stop clearinghouse, according to an article by Newsday. For instance, currently in New York, if job applicants or volunteers at nonprofit agencies have been convicted of a sex crime or other offense in another state, it might not show up on New York state records.

Officials have said this bill is improved and different from a previous bill of the same nature that has already been proposed. Both bills are called the Child Protection Improvement Act of 2009.

The previously proposed bill would create a nationally-accessible background check system for youth-serving organizations. The legislation is based on a successful pilot program that makes it easier for groups like Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Boys & Girls Clubs to perform fast, accurate and affordable background checks on potential volunteers and employees.

The existing program performed more than 37,000 FBI fingerprint background checks from 2003 to 2008. In 6.1 percent of cases, more than 2,000 potential volunteers had criminal records of concern.

That bill also would keep the program affordable for small non-profit organizations. It includes protections for the privacy of volunteers to help keep criminal histories private and the opportunity to correct any errors on their record.

"It is absurd that it is impossible for many organizations to get access to background check data that will keep children safe," Schumer said in the article "As a parent myself, I know why it is essential that we pass this bill. "Then we will all be able to rest easier knowing that our children are in good hands when we drop them off at a camp or after-school program."

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

 

Background Checks Violating Privacy?

One city has been under scrutiny as of late for requiring job seekers to provide social networking information as part of the background check process.

Bozeman, Montana previously made any job seeker looking to work for the city reveal all of their login information to social media sites like Facebook, MySpace and YouTube, as well as e-mail accounts like Google and Yahoo. The city claimed this was part of its normal background check procedure.

However, news of the requirement quickly created a controversy about potential employees' right to privacy. Various reports state that a news station in Montana was informed about the practice. After the news leaked, city officials began receiving one e-mail per minute about the background check policy.

On top of that, an online poll bringing in more than 5,000 votes found that 98 percent of the respondents thought the policy was an invasion of privacy. Those against the policy also quoted Article 2, Section 10 of the Montana Constitution, which states that "the right of individual privacy is essential to the well-being of a free society and shall not be infringed without the showing of a compelling state interest."

Even though the city has since suspended the requirement pending "a more comprehensive evaluation," officials are still standing behind the background check policy.

"We have positions ranging from fire and police, which require people of high integrity for those positions, all the way down to the lifeguards and the folks that work in city hall here," the city attorney said. "So we do those types of investigations to make sure the people that we hire have the highest moral character and are a good fit for the city."

On the other hand, officials from Facebook said that the city's policy "is a violation of Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, which received feedback from users and was ultimately approved in a site-wide vote."

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Friday, June 19, 2009

 

Background Checks for Animal Handlers

Should animal handlers at state fairs have to undergo a background check? With crimes against animals on the rise, one well-known animal protection group thinks so.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recently requested that all animal exhibitors at the Wyoming State Fair undergo background checks. On top of that, PETA asked fair director James Goodrich to ensure that all exhibitors are in compliance with the federal Animal Welfare Act.

In a letter to Goodrich, PETA noted that its offices are often inundated with complaints that exhibitors at fairs and festivals throughout the country have abused animals or endangered the public.

Although exhibitors are required to be licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that is no guarantee that they will provide adequate animal care or follow public safety measures. Many exhibitors often fail to comply with the minimal federal standards established under the AWA.

Under PETA's request:
  • An exhibitor will be ineligible to appear at the fair if he or she has been cited by the USDA within the past three years for inadequate veterinary care, improper or dangerous animal handling or failure to provide adequate food, water, shelter or space.
  • An exhibitor who is traveling with primates must provide proof that each animal has tested negative within the past year for tuberculosis and herpes, both of which can be transmitted to humans.
  • All exhibitors must provide a written plan for the safe recapture of escaped animals.
  • All exhibitors must disclose all past incidents in which any of the animals who will appear at the fair potentially endangered the public.

"We'd prefer it if Mr. Goodrich banned all live-animal exhibits from the fair, but at the very least he should adopt strict guidelines - for the sake of animals and people," PETA Director Debbie Leahy said. "Almost without exception, the exhibitors who frequent fairs and festivals have abysmal records when it comes to providing animal care and protecting the public."

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

 

Background Checks Demanded after Utah Audit

A recent audit completed by the Utah State Legislature is causing many citizens to ask that school employees undergo background checks. To learn more about background checks, click here.

The audit, which was released in April, found the current system for finding criminal histories of public school employees to be flawed and ineffective. That outcome has pushed lawmakers and state education leaders toward working to improve awareness of teacher arrests and implement background checks.

The audit sampled about 1,200 people at 32 schools in Salt Lake, Jordan, Granite and Davis school districts. Of those, 17 employees, or 1.4 percent, were found to have "concerning criminal convictions," while 49 employees, or 4.1 percent, had criminal histories.

Criminal convictions included felony sex assault, indecent exposure, aggravated assault, theft and drug use. Of the employees found to have convictions, nine were convicted before they were hired, six after being hired and two had been convicted both before and after they were hired.

The Legislature's Education Interim Committee reviewed the audit last week. The State Board of Education's Law and Policy Committee is drafting rules to change the system and implement more oversight.

One possible rule would require both licensed and classified employees to report any arrests or convictions to their charter school district superintendent within 48 hours. The offense would then be reported to the state education office. The rules would place offenses involving sex, drugs, alcohol and crimes against a person highest on the list.

Another potential rule would implement a personal database that would alert education employers about arrests. The database would include the employee's name, date of birth and Social Security number.

Finally, all new employees and teachers renewing their licenses would be required to undergo fingerprint testing and a criminal background check. That rule would cause the teacher licensing fee to increase from $50 to $70.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

 

Background Checks Now Required for Indiana Teachers

Instead of taking action to protect its students, the State of Indiana recently passed a law that protects teachers from lawsuits for disciplining students.

Several cities and states are taking action to make background checks more rigorous for teachers, but this is the first time Indiana will require its teachers to undergo background checks.

Gov. Mitch Daniels recently signed a bill into law that will give teachers immunity from lawsuits for disciplining students as long as they act reasonably and in good faith. Daniels said the new state law was one of his top non-economic priorities for the 2009 legislative session.

According to an article by WIBC, State School Superintendent Tony Bennett campaigned for the provision, saying it will help develop a culture where disciplined classrooms prevail in the state. However, Bennett said he doesn't know how many teachers have double-clutched on attempts to keep order.

"What we need to do is not think about how much this situation occurs," he said in the article. "We need to think about developing a culture where disciplined classrooms prevail."

The bill will require criminal background checks before teachers are hired and create a public database of teachers convicted of drug or sex crimes. The law will further require school districts to check for past convictions in any county where a teacher has lived. School officials also have the option of ordering a national background check.

The House of Representatives unanimously approved the bill before it was sent to Daniels.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

 

Background Checks to be Stronger for Taunton Police Officers

One Massachusetts city is imposing stronger background checks on its police department.

Pretty soon, if a new background checklist is approved by the City Council, it will be tougher to become a Taunton police officer. The approval would make future background checks of prospective police officers more thorough and comprehensive, according to an article by the Taunton Daily Gazette.

The checklist, created by Capt. Edward Walsh, consists of 10 dimensions in evaluating a candidate's moral character and personal history. The list also recommends five steps to implement the "pre-employment background investigative process."

The procedures and forms of the checklist were adopted for the detective division using guidelines already implemented by the Massachusetts State Police Certification Unit and the Peace Officer Standards and Training format.

Walsh said the checklist would help the police department return to an earlier era when a candidate's personal history was truly scrutinized.

“In the old days they would knock on neighbors’ doors [for references]," he said in the article. "That’s how it was when I was hired."

The City Council is expected to review the application and consider a recommendation within three weeks.

The proposed checklist comes on the heels of two months of hearings and testimony, which led to the suspension and eventual firing of a rookie police officer, the suspension of the police chief and the suspension of the city clerk.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

 

Background Checks Amped Up at Canadian Ports

Some Canadian officials are upping their security measures - including implementing background checks - for employees. Click here to read more about background checks.

A new deal between the federal Department of Transport and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is aimed at eliminating organized crime operatives from restricted areas and improving security for passengers and cargo traveling throughout Canada.

The new agreement should improve information sharing between the DOT and RCMP. It also will allow the RCMP to conduct detailed background checks on employees applying for new security passes or renewals, according to an article by the Delta Optimist.

The measures will allow the RCMP to run names of employees seeking security passes in restricted areas through 10 different databases, which include information about complaints, victims, suspects and other criminal intelligence. Also as part of the background checks, authorities will have access to an Interpol database with police information from 187 member countries.

Transport Canada issues about 45,000 security passes a year to new applicants and existing employees seeking a renewal of their five-year passes.

About 100,000 workers throughout Canada could be effected by the new measures, including thousands of workers at Deltaport. At Port Metro Vancouver, port authority already has security background checks in place for container ports and areas of international trade. That port accounts for 3,300 jobs in Delta; 5,600 jobs on the North Shore and more than 20,000 jobs in Vancouver.

Federal Transport Minister John Baird agreed to have the deal signed last month after Auditor General Sheila Fraser warned that members of organized crime were infiltrating ports because of poor communication.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

 

Background Checks can Lead to Identity Theft

Could a background check lead to identity theft?

ProtectMyId.com, an identity theft solution, recently released a report stating the ways a background check could lead to identity theft. While background checks are more popular now that ever before and are even required in some states for some professions, there are still potential risks.

While corporations are usually the ones completing background checks, they can also be completed by anyone from family members concerned about the quality of child care to singles checking in on who they're dating.

While a lot of public information is available online and at various organizations, a thorough background check requires written consent from the subject. That grants individual or company access to information such as: resume and employment verification, social security number verification, criminal record checks, Department of Motor Vehicles records, civil court records, Worker's Compensation, credit reports and sexual offender databases.

Without written consent, companies can only gather information from public records and other open sources, meaning the most critical information should remain private. However, some scam artists and thieves are often able to access personal data.

"They have many means of committing identity fraud, including the use of online recruitment scams," ProjectMyId.com said in a press release. "Rising unemployment has made these scams very popular and most job seekers scouring the Internet for employment opportunities don't realize they can make a bad situation even worse, by simply responding to a want ad."

These scams often begin when a consumer receives an e-mail from a company who claims to have found your resume online. The company will state they have an immediate opening for someone with your talents and will ask you to log onto their site and apply for the position.

Next, the scamming company will ask you, via company policy, to do a background check, which may require information such as your date of birth, Social Security number, driver's license number and bank account numbers. This is all information that also can be used to steal someone's identity.

"It's disturbing that people can prey on the desperation of others in such ways, but the fact remains we all need to be more vigilant about protecting ourselves from identity fraud," the company added. "Be cautious. Never give information out to anybody without diligently researching them first."

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

 

Background Checks could be Made Easier through National System

New legislation could make it easier for youth-serving organizations to access background checks.

The Child Protection Improvements Act of 2009, introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA, would create a nationally-accessible background check system for youth-serving organizations, according to an article by the American Chronicle.

"We are fortunate to live in a country where millions of volunteers generously make time to participate in community service," Schiff said in the article. "But with so many volunteers working with children we need to ensure that child predators are not preying on innocent children through the guise of volunteerism.

"Children's safety is paramount, and we need to make certain that those working with our youth have been thoroughly and properly screened," Schiff continued.

The proposed legislation is based on a successful pilot program that makes it easier for groups like Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Boys & Girls Clubs to perform fast, accurate and affordable background checks on potential volunteers and employees.

The existing program performed more than 37,000 FBI fingerprint background checks from 2003 to 2008. In 6.1 percent of cases, more than 2,000 potential volunteers had criminal records of concern.

The new bill hopes to keep the program affordable for small non-profit organizations. It includes protections for the privacy of volunteers to help keep criminal histories private and the opportunity to correct any errors on their record.

The new program would:
  • create universal access to nationwide background searches by establishing a criminal background check designee to process background checks on prospective employees and volunteers for youth-serving organizations
  • create "one-stop" functionality where a local organization could elect to obtain both a state and FBI search through the central clearinghouse
  • keep the fee as low as possible for non-profit organizations, no more than the actual cost
  • ensure that individuals subject to background checks can request their full criminal histories, challenge their accuracy and completeness and receive a prompt response from the jurisdiction holding the records

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

 

Background Checks Through Social Networking Sites

While conventional background checks are now a part of almost any hiring process, employers are finding it easier to use social networking Web sites and other Internet resources to find out information about potential employers.

As employment rates across the country are the lowest they've been in 16 years, employers are finding themselves inundated with resumes and inquiries. While scouring a job seeker's personal Web sites or Googling an applicant's name may seem like the easy way out, it's not always the moral decision to make, and you may find information you didn't want to know.

"With the proliferation of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, employers are becoming more aware of the information obtainable via the Internet about their employees and job applicants," Ron Brand, a partner with Fisher & Phillips, said in an article by Aspen Publishers Technical Answer Group. "These indiscretions are made permanent in cyberspace for all to see, including prospective employers.

"However, in looking up information on the Internet, employers need to be aware of potential claims against them, such as federal and state discrimination and invasion of privacy claims," Brand added.

While no law prohibits employers from searching social networking sites to conduct their own background checks of current or potential employees, doing so could result in federal and state discrimination claims, as well as invasion of privacy claims.

For instance, if an employer finds information on MySpace that identifies an applicant's disability or medical condition, the employer could face a discrimination lawsuit if a decision not to hire that applicant is made based on that information.

Also, an employer can terminate an employee or refuse to hire an applicant based on information found online as long as that information is not used in a discriminatory manner. This means job seekers should be careful about what they put on their social networking profiles when preparing for a background check.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

 

Background Checks and Your Credit History

If you're an employer conducting a background check, or an employee applying for jobs, you should know that a candidate's credit report is often an important part of the process.

Background checks often include copies of the applicant's credit reports. Three major credit reporting agencies - Experian, TransUnion and Equifax - provide a modified version of the credit report called an employment report. An employment report includes information about a candidate's credit payment history and other credit habits, according to an article by Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

An employment report usually offers the same information as a credit report, only it doesn't include your credit score or date of birth. It also does not require an inquiry of your credit file, which is good since having too many credit inquiries can actually lower your credit score.

Credit reports also can include other information, such as your former address and previous employers. A potential employer can use this information as a way to verify the information a candidate gives them on an application or resume.

Many job seekers wonder why their personal credit information is even available to employers, let alone pertinent to the job search. In most cases, it's not as though an employer is looking for judge a candidate solely based on their good or bad credit habits. However, whether you have good or bad credit habits may say something about your character and level of responsibility.

"Often employers use your credit history to gauge your level of responsibility," the article notes. "Whether a valid assumption or not, some employers believe if you are not reliable in paying your bills, then you will not be a reliable employee. Unfortunately, a bad credit report can work against you in your search for employment."

There are some people who don't have any credit whatsoever, which can also come back to haunt you during a job search as well, particularly if the potential employer feels the ability to pay bills on time and maintain good credit is a sign of responsibility. Since background checks today are imminent, candidates might as well build up their credit to the best of their ability.

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Background Checks and Pre-Employment Screening

EmployeeScreenIQ delivers the best and most reliable background checks, and has the flexibility to adapt to your changing needs over time. By establishing ourselves as your trusted partner, we deliver reliable, complete, and current information, legal compliance with all applicable federal/state/local laws, unparalleled customer service, and the best overall value.

We empower employers to make informed hiring decisions by providing timely, accurate & complete employment background checks. EmployeeScreenIQ conducts criminal record searches at each of our nation's 3,500 plus county courthouses, covering the entire United States. We work directly with your organization to develop an effective pre-employment screening program that addresses your unique needs. Our background check solutions can include any combination of the following pre-employment screening and background check services. Checkout the current job openings for Chicago and Cleveland, Ohio sales jobs in our Careers section.

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